If you’re like me you probably hate seeing your bananas turn black and overripe before you get a chance to eat them. The first thing that most people think of making is banana bread, but sometimes you may not feel like it. Well, a scrumptious option is banana pancakes. Over the week-end I made some really nice fluffy pancakes from a recipe that I modified from KitchenTreaty.com. Her jacks are amazingly good but I wanted to make healthier pancakes. To do this I cut out the sugar—old bananas are high in sugar so no added sugar is necessary; I used olive oil instead of butter, more whole wheat flour than white, and non-fat Greek yogurt instead of buttermilk. Yogurt isn’t necessarily a better choice than the buttermilk that she uses, but I always have yogurt in the fridge, whereas I’d have to make a special trip to the store for buttermilk, and then I’d be forced to think of another recipe to use it in so it wouldn’t go to waste.
These pancakes are light and fluffy due to the amount of baking powder in the recipe. Generally speaking, having a lot of baking powder in the batter will make pancakes rise more, but it will also give a more unpleasant taste, but it this recipe it works because the strong banana flavor masks the taste of the baking powder.
There is a trick to making good pancakes and that is to under-mix the batter. This is entirely different from making cake batter where you mix the batter very well. Pancake batter is only mixed until the dry patches are incorporated, and I find it best to use a large balloon whisk because it does the job quicker and better than a spatula.
We all loved these healthier, mostly whole wheat banana pancakes and I’m betting that you will, too!
Amazon Related Products: Wolfgang Puck Indoor Electric Reversible Grill & Griddle, Best Manufacturers Balloon Whip 14-inch
Disclaimer: Please note that the Amazon links are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through them. I use the products mentioned and I recommend them because they are useful.
Mostly Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes
- 1 cup milk, 2%
- 1 cup Greek yogurt, non-fat
- 2 small ripe bananas
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1-3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Place the milk, yogurt, bananas, eggs, olive oil and vanilla extract into a blender.
- Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry. If you have one, use a balloon whisk to mix the wet ingredients with with dry, and mix just until incorporated. Do not overmix!
- Let batter rest for about 5 minutes.
- Heat a non-stick griddle to high and when it comes to temperature lower the heat to medium-high.
- Fold a paper towel up about 3 times and use it to wipe about 2 teaspoons of olive oil onto the grill and spread it around.
- Pour the batter back into the blender; it's easier to pour from. You'll pour about 1/3 cup for each pancake. Another option is to use a ladle to pour the batter, or use a measuring cup to help you pour it on.
- Flip the pancakes when you see several bubbles form on the top of each pancake.
- Add a pat of butter to the top of each pancake as the second side cooks. This way the butter will melt and you won't have cold butter sitting on top when you're ready to top with the syrup.
- Cook until both sides are a medium golden color.
- Serve with sliced fruit, apple sauce, yogurt, and/or maple syrup.
This recipe is copyrighted by MyHealthyEatingHabits.com
Weight Watcher’s Points Plus Values: 8 per serving; 2 pancakes are one serving.
This recipe is also posted at Hearth and Soul, SimpleSupperTuesday, Tuesday’s Table, and Totally Talented Tuesdays
“By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the Wild Blueberry Association of North America and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”
Wild Blueberry Polenta with Grilled Onions and Sausage is the dish I came up with for the recipe contest sponsored by the Wild Blueberry Association of North America (WBANA). The aim of the association is to bring awareness about the differences of wild blueberries and cultivated blueberries.
Wild blueberries are one of the few berries native to America and are only cultivated in Maine and in Canada. They grow close to the ground by rhizomes, or underground runners, and the growers import a billion bees to help the native bees pollinate the berries.
Both wild blueberries and cultivated blueberries are a low sugar and high-fiber superfood, and they contain anthocyanins, which help to reduce inflammation, and may help to prevent cancer. Blueberries rank low on the glycemic index (53) and have a low glycemic load (6.5), making them a good choice for people with type 2 diabetes.
So what makes wild blueberries better? Cup for cup you get more than twice the number of wild berries as compared with the cultivated berries. In addition, wild blueberries have more antioxidants than any other berry, including cranberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries (Clemson), and twice as many antioxidants as cultivated blueberries, making them a very healthy food choice.
When it comes to taste, wild blueberries have a more intense flavor than the cultivated variety. I checked this with my own taste test and found WBANA’s claim to be delectably true. And having less water than cultivated blueberries, wild blueberries hold up better for baking and are visually more appealing, too, because you see more of them.
I eat blueberries for their taste, health benefits, and low calories. Now that I know that wild blueberries taste better and are heathier for me than cultivated blueberries, I’ll buy them in the future. If you are interested in trying them, look for them in the frozen section of your supermarket with the words Wild Blueberries.
The recipe for Wild Blueberry Polenta with Grilled Onions and Sausage is a healthy recipe for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner. It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, easy to make, and highly scrumptious! You may also like some of my other blueberry recipes: Blueberry Smoothie, Anti-Oxidant Fruit Salad, and Sour Milk Griddle Cakes with Blueberry Topping.
Related Amazon Products: Aidell’s sausage, wild blueberries, 4-quart saucepan
Wild Blueberry Polenta, Grilled Onions and Sausage
Serve with sliced oranges, or a garden salad.
For the Onions:
- 1-1/2 large onions, cut in half and thinly sliced will be about 4 cups
- 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
For the Polenta:
- 4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal (I use Albers)
- 1-3/4 cups frozen wild blueberries
For the Sausage:
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 4 sausage (I use Aidell's Chicken and Apple, or Italian Style)
- Sauté the onions in 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil until they are lightly caramelized. about 25 minutes.
- 15 minutes before the onions are ready, heat the water in a 4-quart saucepan until it comes to a boil. Add the salt and slowly whisk in the cornmeal. Stir frequently until the polenta thickens up and the texture is smooth. Carefully stir in the frozen blueberries trying not to break them. Cook one minute and then turn off the heat, cover the pot and allow the polenta to rest 1 to 2 minutes.
- Place a large spoonful of wild blueberry polenta on a plate, top with the grilled onions, and then place one sausage, sliced or whole, on top of the onions.
Serve with sliced oranges, or a garden salad.
This recipe is copyrighted by MyHealthyEatingHabits.com
This recipe is also posted at This recipe is also posted at Inspiration Monday
, Mix It Up Monday
, Totally Tasty Tuesday
, and Tuesday Talent Show
Whole Wheat Upside Down Pineapple Pancakes
As I was making my rounds to visit other bloggers, I came across some really yummy looking pancakes on ClubNarwhal. Pineapple upside down pancakes are nothing new; you’ll find them here, here, and here, to cite a few. But when I saw them, my brain said, Yes! But you know me, I had to make a few tweaks here and there to make it a healthier recipe.
So how do you make a dough, or batter recipe healthier? To start, I use whole wheat flour or a combination of whole wheat and white flour; and then, olive oil instead of butter is better for the heart, as well as less salt, and cutting back on the sugar—not that there is much sugar in pancake batter. And when using fruit, use fresh—not canned. These pancakes tasted even better than in my imagination, where they were petty lip-smacking indeed. The fresh fruit added such juicy sweetness so that only a tiny amount of syrup was needed. If you like pineapple, you’ll love these whole wheat pineapple upside down pancakes.
And by they way, yesterday Fall weather arrived in Arizona. That can only mean one thing… it’s time to bake! So keep your eyes open for something good to come out of my kitchen oven in the coming weeks.
*Note – in the prep time in the recipe below will be less if using canned pineapple, about 8 minutes.
Prep Time: 25 min Cook Time: 12 minutes Yield: about 7 to 8 pancakes
- 1 egg
- 7 to 8 fresh pineapple slices
- 1-1/2 cups buttermilk, or sour milk (for sour milk – add 1 teaspoon vinegar to the milk), or use your favorite alternative milk
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¾ cup whole wheat flour (or use ¾ cup whole wheat flour with ¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour instead of the bread flour)
- ¾ cup bread flour
- 2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1-1/2 cups Greek yogurt to accompany
- Maple Syrup, if needed
1. Place the egg, milk, and olive oil in a blender and mix until smooth, about 10 seconds.
2. Place the dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk them together well.
3. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry, stirring as you combine them. Mix only until they are incorporated (too much mixing causes rubbery pancakes).
4. Heat the pancake grill to medium-high, and wipe a little olive oil onto the grill with a paper towel, being careful not to burn yourself.
5. Use a measuring cup to ladle the batter onto the grill to form a 3-1/2-inch circle, and then place a pineapple slice in the center. Repeat the process with the remaining batter and pineapple slices. Cook the cakes about 2 minutes, or until the batter begins to bubble up and then flip them over and continue cooking until they are done (some cooks prefer to lay the pineapple slice down first and then ladle the batter over the sliced fruit. See here).
6. As the pancakes cook on the second side, use the spatula to lightly press the sides of the cakes down so they touch the grill in order for them to brown.
Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a tiny amount of maple syrup if necessary. They are moist and sweet due to the pineapple, so very little syrup is needed. Prepare yourself for a mouthful of flavor!
This Recipe is also posted at Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Tuesday Talent Show, What’s Cooking Wednesday, and Full Plate Thursday
People have found uses for the flax plant for hundreds of thousands of years. The plant fiber has been used to produce linen, twine, and rope. Painters used linseed oil –the oil from flax seed– as a paint-drying agent. This week the 38 Power Foods blog group celebrates flax for its health benefits.
The flax seed is a good source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is an essential fatty acid in the omega-3 family. ALA provides anti-inflammatory and cardiovascular benefits, and studies show that the ground seed is good for lowering one’s cholesterol and for lessoning the severity of diabetes by stabilizing blood sugar levels. It also provides a lot of fiber. Eating whole seeds will have the effect of a natural laxative for someone with a sluggish digestive system. My mother-in-law, for example, adds two tablespoons to her cereal daily to keep her regular. You should use the ground seed to take advantage of the nutritional benefits. Keep in mind that ground flax seed goes rancid quickly, so it’s best to buy whole brown seeds and grind them as you use them, and store both the whole seeds and the ground flax in the freezer.
About the recipe: If you look around at granola recipes (1, 2, 3) you start to see common elements; oats, sweeteners, nuts, dried fruit, oil, flavorings, and salt. I came up with this recipe for Cocoa Granola with Flax and Other Power Goodies using all to the above ingredients and cocoa powder to mask the strong flavor that flax leaves in the mouth. The dried fruit is optional because the cereal is more easily digested without it. Updated February 26th, 2013 to include recipe.
Prep Time: 10 minutes Baking Time: 25 minutes Yield: 4-1/2 cups
2 cups rolled oats (not quick cooking)
1/3 cup organic brown rice syrup
2 tablespoons cane sugar
2 tablespoons water
2-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon chocolate extract
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut, ground in a coffee mill (Grinding is optional)
1/3 cup sliced almonds
¼ cup ground and toasted flax seed
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Optional – 1/3 cup raisins, or another of your favorite dried fruit
1. Pre-heat the oven to 300°
2. In a small pot, mix the brown rice syrup, the cane sugar, and the water. Bring the liquids to a boil and cook until it is very foamy. Remove it from the heat and then add the olive oil, the chocolate extract, and the vanilla. Stir the ingredients well and then set the pot aside.
3. In a large bowl, mix the rolled oats, the coconut, the almonds, the ground flax seeds, the cinnamon, and the salt. Add the syrup to the dry ingredients and mix it well by using a spatula to fold the cereal over itself until it is well combined.
4. On a sheetpan, spread the cereal out and bake it for 12 minutes. After this remove the sheet pan from the oven, stir the cereal well and pat it into a pile about ¾-inch thick. Return the pan to the oven and bake another 12 minutes.
5. After you remove the granola from the oven, press the cereal together and then flatten it using the back of a spatula. Let it cool and then break the cereal into clumps. Add the optional fruit.
Power Foods: 150 delicious recipes with the 38 healthiest ingredients
Other granola recipes:
Coconut Granola, Two Peas and Their Pod
Easy Homemade Granola, The Amateur Gourmet
How to Make Homemade Granola, The Prepared Pantry
If you are a blogger and would like to take part in our group blogging about Power Foods: 150 Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients, (from the editors at Martha Stewart’s Living Magazine) we’d love to have your company. Contact: Mireya(at)myhealthyeatinghabits.com for details.
Check out what these other bloggers have cooked up! Alyce – More Time at the Table, Ansh – Spice Roots, Casey –SweetSav Jeanette – Jeanette’s Healthy Living, Martha – Simple-Nourished-Living, Minnie – The Lady 8 Home, Mireya – My Healthy Eating Habits
This posted can be seen at Full Plate Thursday and Pennywise Platter
Toasted Bread Pudding
It feels like I’ve been away for a long time from my blogging friends devoted to writing about the 50 Women Game Changers —and it’s good to be back. Mary Berger at One Perfect Bite really had a stroke of genius when she decided to start this group. This week’s woman game changer is Darina Allen, #38, and I’m doing a modified version of her toasted bread pudding.
Many food afficionados credit Darina Allen for saving the best of Irish foods before “progress” obliterated it. In 1968, she graduated in hotel management at the Dublin Institute of Technology. Not long after graduating, Allen heard there was a farmer’s wife who ran a country estate restaurant called Ballymaloe. This woman, Myrtle Allen, served Irish food using the available fresh ingredients from their 100 acre farm, and the menu varied from day to day depending on the freshness of the garden produce —something virtually unheard of in those days. Darina applied for a position, was hired, and eventually became the farmer’s wife’s daughter-in-in law, and the founder of the Ballymaloe Cookery School. The school’s philosophy is sustainability. Use the best and freshest local ingredients you can find and minimize travel. Cooking and eating has to be enriching, enjoyable and fun. You can learn more about Darina at the Ballymaloe Cookery School website, or this NY Times article.
I wanted a healthy whole wheat version for Darina’s “Irish Bread and Butter Pudding,” so I decreased the amount of sugar and raisins, used whole wheat challah bread, and excluded the butter to use olive oil in its place. This “pudding” is not like most bread puddings where the bread gets fully immersed for hours in milk and egg. When you eat this bread pudding you might wonder, is it toast or is it pudding? It’s both. The bottom of the pudding absorbs most of the milk and egg, making it soft and tender. The top of the pudding absorbs little of the milk and eggs making it more like toast. This is not a rich dessert; it is a very slightly sweetened breakfast pudding. It makes a nice alternative to my regular bowl of oatmeal.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Bake Time: 30 minutes
6 to 8 slices whole wheat challah bread, or some other tender whole wheat bread
1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar, or brown cane sugar
2 or 3 tablespoons raisins
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
*optional – sliced oranges and 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons maple poured over the top
1) Remove the crusts from the bread and cut the bread into triangles.
2) Use some olive oil to grease a 7-1/2 x 11 oven-proof dish. Cover the base of the dish with one layer of bread triangles and sprinkle some of the raisins over the bread.
3) Repeat with another layer of bread and raisins until the pan is full.
4) Beat together the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, and spices, and then pour it evenly over the bread layers. Let it sit for half an hour so that the bread soaks up the liquid.
5) Set the oven temperature to 350°F (180°) C. Bake it for about half an hour or until golden and puffy. It is best when eaten out of the oven.
Please check out what these other bloggers have cooked up this week.
This recipe is also posted at Frugal Food Thursday and Full Plate Thursday
Whole Wheat Applesauce Pancakes
My boys love pancakes or French toast occasionally for a nice week-end breakfast. Though my youngest son, Andrew still prefers basic white flour pancakes, but now he ironically says about these whole wheat pancakes, “They’re not bad.”
Making healthy changes doesn’t mean you can’t ever enjoy some of the foods that you like to eat, but you can make better choices about some of the ingredients that you are using. In this recipe for whole wheat applesauce pancakes, I choose to use olive oil rather than butter to avoid the saturated fat in butter. And I use 2/3 parts whole wheat for the added nutrition and fiber, rather than all plain bread flour. Applesauce adds flavor, as well as fiber and vitamin C. Also if you plan on using syrup, natural maple syrup is better than processed because it has important minerals, manganese and zinc. Natural syrup is also a better choice because many artificial syrups are loaded with high fructose corn syrup. These are small changes, but if you make small healthy changes in all the foods you eat, you can’t help but notice a positive difference in how you feel.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 12 pancakes
1 egg, or 2 egg whites
1-1/2 cup soy milk, or low-fat milk
½ cup applesauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ cup bread flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
Procedure: Pre-heat the grill on high for 10 minutes, and make the batter while the grill heats.
1. Place the wet ingredients in a blend and process 3 seconds.
2. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a medium size bowl.
3. Pour the wet ingredients in with the dry and whisk together just until they liquid is incorporated with the dry.
Ready to Flip
4. Spread about one tablespoon of olive oil on the flat grill and spread it around, and then pour out the pancake mix onto the grill. Cook until they start to bubble and then flip the pancakes and cook for another couple of minutes.
Ready to Eat
Try them. You’ll like them.
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